As far as I know, there is no difference. 으로 in the first example is just a shortened form of 으로서. 으로 seems to be much more common than 으로서 these days.
(으)로서 is defined in the dictionary as "지위나 신분 또는 자격을 나타내는 격 조사". The first example is clearly using 으로 to indicate 자격 (like "as"). The second one is not as obvious as the first one, but it can be considered 자격 in the broad sense. (으)로서 is often used in this kind of somewhat loose sense to connect two clauses in formal writing.
Here are examples from ko.wikipedia.org. You could use 으로서 and 로서 just as well.
남극(영어: Antarctica, 南極)은 지구의 최남단의 대륙으로, 한가운데 남극점이 있다.
오세아니아(영어: Oceania)는 지구의 지역 중 하나로 태평양의 육지와 섬 지역을 말한다.
In the above examples, the sense of "as" is so weak that in English translation, you might just connect the two parts with "and" or a relative pronoun. (으)로서 effectively just functions like a neutral conjunctive in them.
In other cases, (으)로서 can have a strong sense of "as".
자식으로서 마땅히 할 일 (from 표준국어대사전)
(으)로서 in the Wikipedia examples and this last sentence appear to be quite different in meaning and function, but I think it's a case of grammar construct diverging widely in actual use. I looked for dictionary listings that put these two cases under different headings but couldn't find any. So I tentatively conclude they are different usages of the same one.
Whether it is the same one or not, I would say the important thing is to be able to understand and use it.